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Johannesburg - Prof Edna Lorraine van Harte has been appointed chairwoman of the defence force services commission, the defence ministry announced on Thursday.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa was appointed her deputy, the ministry said in a statement.
The inauguration of the first permanent defence force services commission was held in Pretoria on Thursday.
“Members of the SA National Defence Force have historically been excluded from the bargaining mechanisms provided for improvements and adjustments in respect of remuneration, allowances and general conditions of service for the public service,” the ministry said.
“Several attempts have been made over the years to find ways for the needs of the soldiers to be addressed in this regard.”
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula attended the inauguration.
The establishment of the commission followed a consultative and selection process concluded by the Cabinet in September. It was established under the Defence Act.
“The inauguration of the permanent defence force services commission heralds a new era and a progressive step in the quest to ensure the well-being of women and men in uniform,” the ministry said.
Other members of the committee are: Lt-Gen (retired) Lambert Moloi, Maj-Gen (retired) James Henry April, Prof Renfrew Leslie Christie, Ian Robertson, Lindiwe Zulu, and Dipuo Mvelase.